The Architecture of India. Victoria Train Station

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    2015-12-10
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The Architecture of India. Victoria Train Station
















The report on a theme: The Architecture of India. Victoria Train Station


Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) (formerly Victoria Terminus (VT), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO_World_Heritage_Site> and an historic railway station in Mumbai <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai>, India which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Railways>. Designed by Frederick William Stevens <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_William_Stevens> with influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Mughal buildings, the station was built in 1887 in the Bori Bunder <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bori_Bunder> area of Bombay to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Jubilee_of_Queen_Victoria>. The new railway station was built on the location of the Bori Bunder Station and is the busiest railway station in India, serving as a terminal for both long-distance trains and commuter trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Suburban_Railway>. The station's name was changed to its present one in March 1996 and it is now known simply as CST (or CSTM).

Bori Bunder (alternatively "Bori Bandar") was one of the areas along the Eastern shore line of Mumbai, India which was used as a storehouse for goods imported and exported from Mumbai. In the area's name, 'Bori' means sack and 'Bandar' means port or haven (in Persian); So Bori Bunder literally means a place where sacks are stored. In the 1850s, the Great Indian Peninsular Railway built its railway terminus in this area and the station took its name as Bori Bunder. On 16 April 1853 the Great Indian Peninsula Railway operated the historic first passenger train in India from Bori Bunder to Thane covering a distance of 34 km (21 mi), formally heralding the birth of the Indian Railways. The train between Bori Bunder and Thane was 57 minutes it was a distance of 35 km (22 mi) apart.station was eventually rebuilt as the Victoria Terminus, named after the then reigning Queen, and has been subsequently renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM) after Maharashtra's and India's Great famed 17th-century king. The shortened name is now CST.station was designed by the consulting British architect Frederick William Stevens <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_William_Stevens> (1848-1900). Work began in 1878. He received  <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_rupee>1614000 (US$26,000) as the payment for his services. Stevens earned the commission to construct the station after a masterpiece watercolour sketch by draughtsman Axel Haig <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axel_Haig>. The final design bears some resemblance to the St Pancras railway station <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Pancras_railway_station> in London <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London>.GG Scott's plans for Berlin's parliament building had been published four years before, and also has marked similarities to the station's design. Crawford market is also located near CSTM.intended only to house the main station and the administrative offices of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, a number of ancillary buildings have been added subsequently, all designed so as to harmonise with the main structure. A new station to handle main line traffic was erected in 1929. The original building is still in use to handle suburban traffic and is used by over three million commuters daily. It is also the administrative headquarters of the Central Railway.station building is designed in the High Victorian Gothic <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_Gothic> style of architecture. The building exhibits a fusion of influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Indian architecture. The skyline, turrets, pointed arches, and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. Externally, the wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills for the ticket offices, the balustrades for the grand staircases and other ornaments were the work of students at the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Jamsetjee_Jeejebhoy_School_of_Art>. The station stands as an example of 19th century railway architectural marvels for its advanced structural and technical solutions.

CST was constructed using high level of engineering both in terms of railway engineering and civil engineering. It is one of the first and is considered as one of the finest products of the use of industrial revolution technology merged with revival of the Gothic Revival style In India . The centrally domed office structure has a 330 feet long platform connected to a 1,200 feet long train shed, and its outline provides the skeleton plan for building. CST's dome of dovetailed ribs, built without centering, was considered as a novel achievement of the era. The interior of the building was conceived as a series of large rooms with high ceilings. It is a utilitarian building and has had various changes required by the users, not always sympathetic. It has a C-shaped plan which is symmetrical on an east-west axis. the sides of the building are given equal value in the design. It is crowned by a high central dome, which acts as the focal point. The dome is an octagonal ribbed structure with a colossal female figure symbolizing Progress, holding a torch pointing upwards in her right hand and a spoked wheel in her left hand. The side wings enclose the courtyard, which opens on to the street. The wings are anchored by monumental turrets at each of their four corners, which balance and frame the central dome. The façades present the appearance of well proportioned rows of windows and arches. The ornamentation in the form of statuary, bas-reliefs, and friezes is exuberant yet well controlled.columns of the entrance gates are crowned by figures of a lion (representing Great Britain) and a tiger (representing India). The main structure is built from a blend of India sandstone and limestone, while high-quality Italian marble was used for the key decorative elements. The main interiors are also decorated: the ground floor of the North Wing, known as the Star Chamber, which is still used as the booking office, is embellished with Italian marble and polished Indian blue stone. The stone arches are covered with carved foliage and grotesques. architecture india victoria train station

Internally, the ceiling of the booking hall was originally painted blue, gold and strong red on a ground of rich blue with gold stars. Its walls were lined with glazed tiles made by Maw & Co of Britain. Outside, there are statues representing Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering and Science, with a statue representing Progress on the central dome of the station. A statue of Queen Victoria beneath the central dome has been removed. has 18 platforms - 7 are for locals trains and 11 are for long distance. Rumours persist that the design for Chhatrapat Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai was originally designated for Flinders Street Station <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flinders_Street_Station>. However, no convincing evidence, other than architectural similarities to other buildings in their respective cities, has been produced to support the rumour.

Plans are underway to upgrade Mumbai CST (along with Pune Jn. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pune_Railway_Station> and Nagpur <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagpur_railway_station>) by means of a public-private partnership.

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